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FREEBIES DON’T WORK IN GOA, MR KEJRIWAL

The people of Goa are young, vibrant, and futuristic. They want an opportunity to make the state competitive with the rest of the world, not only India.

Savio Rodrigues

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I like the people in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Goa. There are some good and genuine people in the local political unit but I am not a fan of Arvind Kejriwal. His political agenda seems self-centred. I disliked him more after his persistent inconsistency in handling Covid-19 in Delhi and the usage of a health crisis to plaster his face over every television channel in India. In my opinion, he could have saved more lives and not resort to political drama over the health crisis. In fact, I had openly mentioned my dislike to a friend of mine in the AAP central leadership looking at Goa affairs. I told him, “AAP Goa can work, Kejriwal will not work.” If the AAP assumes that the ‘I am Super CM’ Kejriwal will sell in Goa, then their reading on the state is myopic and based on half-knowledge, especially regarding the nature of the people of Goa.

Goa is a state, where its people were ruthless and unkind to the late Manohar Parrikar. He was one politician who genuinely had a vision for Goa. I remember the vicious attacks by some spineless political vermins that relentlessly attacked him, even as he fought for his life while doing his duty to the people of Goa and India. A Catholic priest took to liberty to shout out from the pulpit in a Church that “Manohar Parrikar was cursed by the people of Goa that’s why he suffered and died.”

When Congress faltered in governance, the people of Goa decimated them in the Assembly Elections 2012. When BJP, first led by Manohar Parrikar and then by Laxmikant Parsekar faltered in governance during 2012 to 2017, BJP was reduced to a minority in the Assembly Elections 2017. Of course, through political machinations, BJP retained power and further strengthened its position by inducting 10 Congress MLAs. I disagreed with that damning move but that’s politics.

In Goa today, you do not have the BJP in ideology, you have the BJP because 17 MLAs had been Congress MLAs at some point of time in their political careers, not too far back in time. Not all of them are beacons of virtue for BJP to have inducted them. One is accused of raping a minor girl.

There is growing angst in some constituencies against the BJP. There is absolutely no hope for Congress in Goa as it continues to pander to the old political horses that have become wooden rocking horses; they give Congress a feeling that it is galloping in the state but in reality, it is getting nowhere. The problem with Congress is that even with their five MLAs, each would be aspiring to be the Chief Minister of Goa. That is essentially the problem of Congress in Goa: lack of selfless leadership to build the political party.

The new change in AAP Goa is focused on recruiting disgruntled leaders in both Congress and BJP to create a mark for itself in the state. Its previous strategy under Elvis Gomes focused on the activists’ style of politics. That will never work in Goa. Activists are good at making noise, not winning elections. Winning elections is about building public perception and managing electoral numbers. The number of voters per constituency in Goa is less, managing electoral numbers is a major challenge and an art that few have perfected.

AAP Goa has the potential to make a difference as there is a vacuum in the state as some people are disillusioned with both Congress and BJP, and the regional parties have not yet flexed their muscle across the state convincingly, they have strengths in few pockets. But if AAP Goa brings the Delhi brand of politics to Goa then it will bite the dust here.

AAP Goa may not have the potential to get a majority in the state but they can bag a seat or two if they get the electoral arithmetic right and do not stray towards becoming a drama party in the state. Unfortunately, for Kejriwal, old habits die hard, thinking Goans to be like Delhiites, that will jump for freebies is the error that he has made on his visit to Goa this time. He has announced free electricity, good schools, and Mohalla clinics. 

Unfortunately, he has not understood that Goa is a state where the per-capita income is high. People are not short of money or shy of spending. We do have good schools and a decent healthcare system that has been spruced up; of course, it can get a lot better. The failure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi exposed the poor healthcare infrastructure that Kejriwal tomtoms about in India and globally.

Goans want a future and not freebies. Kejriwal, through these antics, is not catering to Goans but the non-Goan migrant population that is growing in Goa. For them, freebies will work. I remember a story last year during the pandemic when the Goa government under the BJP was given free kilos of rice to Goans with a ration card under some welfare scheme, some people were taking the rice and selling it to their friends who did not have a ration card. That’s the true nature of a Goan, they are enterprising. Giving them something free will make no difference to their lives. In fact, it was amusing seeing Pratima Coutinho, a former Congress leader, now in AAP, (which in my opinion was a good decision because in Congress she would get nowhere) distributing freebies in a bag to a lady living in a posh bungalow with a car and bike. That’s not the poverty of the state. That’s the inherent nature of Goans, they do not say no to a gift.

AAP Goa has read the people of Goa wrong. If the party truly wants to bring a change in the state, stop selling Kejriwal to Goans, Goans do not care about leaders from Delhi. Let me say this bluntly, even Narendra Modi’s name is not good enough to win elections in Goa. If his name could win an election in the state, then the party should have won both North Goa and South Goa Parliamentary seats. People from Goa like Modi as PM but that is not sufficient to win Assembly elections. Manohar Parrikar was Defence Minister of India and former Chief Minister of Goa, yet in 2017, BJP did not get a majority.

Delhi stamp does not impress Goans. The moot point is what can you do for the people of Goa. They think differently. They have understood politics, know their power centres but most importantly they know how to play the politicians.

AAP is talking about stopping corruption. Congress brought new faces to supposedly stop corruption. The new faces walked straight into BJP and made a mockery of democracy. That’s the penetration of corruption in Goa. Corruption is a card that is beaten to death. Goans want Goa to regain its true identity in India and globally. They want a future.

The people of Goa are young, vibrant, and futuristic. They want an opportunity to build Goa and make it competitive with the rest of the world, not only India. They want a government to create entrepreneurial opportunities for them. They want a government to bring better companies with job opportunities to the state. They want sustainable tourism development that focuses on the culture, heritage, and content life of the Goans. They do not want the maddening crowd coming to Goa thinking it is Thailand. Young Goa has an aspiration. This aspiration takes the most educated and talented Goans out of the state. They want a better life and if they can get it in Goa, they would never leave the state. Goans living outside of Goa and India want to come back to their home but where are the opportunities to grow and compete with the benefits one gets in other states in India or globally.

Political parties that can fulfill the aspirations of the people of Goa with a roadmap on the socio-economic future of the state coupled with sustainable development and futuristic growth ideas will create a mark in Goa in the forthcoming elections. Goans will take your freebies and vote for the political individual or party that focuses on the growth of Goa. Goans are not slaves to freebies. They do not want non-Goans eroding the inherent culture of its people by turning it into Bangkok or Shanghai. Goa does not want to become a Mumbai or a Shanghai. Goa wants to remain — Goa.

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ON DOCTORS’ DAY, NETIZENS THANK DOCTORS FOR THEIR IMMENSE CONTRIBUTION

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As India celebrated National Doctors’ Day on Friday, politicians, business leaders and social media users took to Twitter to thank doctors for their immense contribution and serve to the nation. #NationalDoctorsDay took the top trend as wishes poured in on social media. Leading the celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a video on social media and said, “Doctors Day greetings to all hardworking doctors who play a key role in saving lives and making our planet healthier.”

Union minister Nitin Gadkari remembered Bharat Ratna Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, who was an Indian physician, freedom fighter, educationist and philanthropist. “Deepest gratitude to all the doctors on National Doctors Day. I salute their tireless efforts in keeping us safe during the global pandemic,” he said.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan also remembered Bharat Ratna Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy and tweeted, “Remembering Bharat Ratna Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, one of the pioneers of healthcare sector on National Doctors Day. Today , let us express our gratitude and take a moment to appreciate all our doctors for their round-the-clock efforts for a healthy and fit society.”

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Fearing a layoff? Devise an action plan

Priyanka Sharma

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India›s workforce has been at the receiving end of the economic impact of the pandemic. While many of the employees faced salary cuts up to 40-50%, there are a significant number of people who were laid off. One might assume that layoffs were a phase and the time to recover losses that occurred due to Covid-19 is not too far, but the recent layoffs in EdTech giants like BYJU’s and Topper paint a different picture.

In such uncertain times, there are certain strategies that one can adopt to evade a powerful economic blow. Having an action plan might not help in retaining the same job, but it will sure help in sustaining a huge financial blow as well as finding more opportunities.

BE INDISPENSABLE

The trick to retaining a job is to be invincible. Be so good at your job that it prompts the employer to think twice before taking a decision on laying you off. This does not happen in a day. Daily actions translate into a long-term commitment. Show up on time, learn as much as you can, deliver more than expected, come up with new ideas, maintain good relationships with your colleagues as well as your seniors, and you will carve out a space for yourself in your organisation.

INVEST IN YOURSELF

Learning is a process that must never end. Skills like creative writing, social media marketing, video editing, graphic designing, machine learning and others are skills that are highly in demand. Even if you are working an 8-hour shift and are not actively looking for a job, these skills will give a boost to your resume, enhance your skill set and set you apart from others.

BUILD NETWORK

Social media has made it possible for us to stay connected all the time, not just with our friends and family but also with potential employers. Building a positive relationship with your colleagues, ex-colleagues, seniors and people who are working in other organisations will ensure that you never miss an opportunity. Showcase your work on websites like LinkedIn to ensure that you don’t look for an opportunity, rather it comes to you.

BUILD ASSETS

No matter what your current pay scale is, it is always advisable to have multiple sources of revenue. That is only possible when you start investing early. Whether it is your 1st paycheck or your 300th paycheck, make sure to save a portion of your salary. Spend that amount on things that will give you a bigger return and not just dig a hole in your pocket. It is always advisable to have an emergency fund. As the term suggests, this emergency fund will help you sail through a difficult time. Even if you are laid off, you will be financially secure.

POSITIVE SELF TALK

Finally, it might get difficult to stay unaffected by what is happening around you. The uncertainty can take a toll on you but staying positive can help you not only manifest your dream job but also avoid the stress. Have a positive self-image, eat nutritious meals, dance your heart out, spend time with family and wait for life to surprise you.

Having an action plan might not help in retaining a job but it will help in sustaining a huge financial blow as well as finding more opportunities.

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‘THE TERMINAL LIST’ FAILS TO LIVE UP TO THE HYPE

Despite the promise, ‘The Terminal List’ doesn’t really offer anything new to the world of action thrillers.

Murtaza Ali Khan

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Over the last decade or so, Chris Pratt seems to have overtaken everybody else to become a leading blockbuster action hero in Hollywood. He brings with him just the right mix of charisma and rugged machismo. Not many are aware that there was a time when Pratt failed the auditions for J. J. Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ and James Cameron’s ‘Avatar.’ But, it all changed for Pratt with ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ wherein he played one of the soldiers who took part in the eventual assassination mission to take down Osama bin Laden. He followed it up with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ wherein he essays the part of a brash space adventurer named Peter Quill who gets hunted by relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb coveted by Ronan, the Supreme Accuser of the Kree Empire. Subsequently, he went on to star in films like ‘Jurassic World,’ wherein he undertakes the seemingly impossible task of training raptors, ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ wherein Pratt stars as a member of a band of cowboys who are hired to protect a small town from an evil baron, and ‘The Tomorrow War,’ which stars Pratt in the role of a man recruited to fight an invasion taking place in the future.  

With such hard-hitting action thrillers under his belt, Chris Pratt looks like the ideal choice to play the part of James Reece in the new Amazon Prime Video series ‘The Terminal List,’ which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Jack Carr. The series follows Reece after his entire platoon of Navy SEALs is ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission. Reece returns home to his family with conflicting memories of the event and questions about his culpability. However, as new evidence comes to light, Reece discovers dark forces working against him, endangering not only his life, but the lives of those he loves. The series stars Constance Wu, Taylor Kitsch, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Riley Keough, Arlo Mertz, Jai Courtney, JD Pardo, and Patrick Schwarzenegger, among others. Antoine Fuqua, the veteran director of films such as ‘The Equalizer,’ ‘Training Day,’ serves as an executive producer (he also is a director) on the series. The show is written by David DiGilio (‘Strange Angel’), who is also an executive producer on the show alongside Fuqua and Pratt.

To help with authenticity, ‘The Terminal List’ engaged veterans and their families as part of multiple aspects of the series production. For example, half the show’s writing staffers are either veterans themselves or have veterans in their families. ‘The Terminal List’ adds to the list of action thrillers which are already a part of Amazon Prime Video’s catalogue such as ‘Jack Ryan,’ ‘Hanna,’ ‘Reacher,’ and ‘Bosch,’ among others. And, despite the promise, it doesn’t really offer anything new to the world of action thrillers. Yes, there is Chris Pratt and the wonderful supporting cast, Jack Carr’s bestselling novel, and Fuqua’s direction. But, it just doesn’t add up in a way the makers would have hoped and fails to live up to the hype of this big game-changer of an action show that marks Pratt’s highly anticipated return to television.      

A show like ‘The Terminal List’ could have been a trendsetter had it come out a decade back but today there is so much solid action content out there that it’s very difficult to stand out in the crowd. If anyone could have delivered it, it’s the team of Pratt and Fuqua but unfortunately ‘The Terminal List’ falls short by some distance. A much better option with the story on offer and the chosen treatment perhaps would have been a four-episode miniseries or a feature film rather than a full-fledged series. However, the show isn’t without merits. There are loads and loads of action on offer and even though most of it is pretty predictable the action lovers wouldn’t be disappointed. Fans of Chris Pratt too wouldn’t mind seeing him beating the bad guys to pulp. Some of the old action buffs might even be reminded of films of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, notwithstanding the lack of novelty or surprise on offer.      

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ON SOCIAL MEDIA DAY, NETIZENS CALL FOR CAUTION AND VERIFICATION

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Section 144 CrPC order on social media

On the occasion of Social Media Day on Thursday, netizens took to social media to spread the message of caution. The official Twitter account of United Nations shared, “We all love to share. But sharing misformation is harmful and it spreads faster when we are upset. On Thursday’s Social Media Day, we ask you to #PledgeToPause and verify content before you share it online.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also tweeted: “Lies and misinformation spread around the world at the touch of a button. We can do our part to stop the spread. On Social Media Day, I encourage you to pause and take time to verify facts before you share something online.”

A social media user said, “Social Media Day is a day to celebrate the freedom and opportunities that this platform has given us,” whereas another social media user said, “Happy Social Media Day to all. Let us pledge to be more sensible, factual, responsible and positive on social media platforms.”

In today’s day and age, when the world is going digital, social media is paving its way to become an information age. From getting to know which celebrity is partying where, who got a promotion amongst your friend circle and sometimes, getting your daily dose of news, social media has emerged as one of the most important tools in our daily lives.

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16 LGBTQ filmmakers awarded at ‘Colors of Love Film Festival’

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About 16 LGBTQ filmmakers were awarded at the fourth edition of the “Colors of Love International LGBT Film Festival”, organised by Script Factory Production Private Limited. Out of 61 film submissions from LGBT filmmakers around the world, the jury recognised 22 films and 16 filmmakers for their inspiring work. The LGBT Film Festival received submissions for short films, documentaries, animation films, music videos, and web series with LGBTQ themes.

OUT, a short film directed by Seth Chitwood of the United States won the best LGBT-Gay film, followed by best LGBT-Lesbian film ‘Where do the sounds go’ directed by Florent Gouelou of France, Best LGBT-Bisexual Film ‘Write to me by mistake’ directed by Guiseppe De Candia of Italy, Best LGBT-Transgender Film ‘Sisterhood’ directed by Tobias Kralmark of Sweden, Best LGBT-Sexual Diversity Film ‘Quality Check’ directed by Harriette Murtland of the United States, Best LGBT-Documentary Film by ‘Merchant Marine Paul Goercke and Alexander Hamilton Post 448’ directed by Alexander Zane Irwin of the United States.

Best LGBT-Animation Film ‘Embrace’ directed by Latesha Merkel of the United States, Best LGBT–HIV based film ‘More Tomorrow than Before’ directed by Ulises Perez Mancil from Mexico, Best LGBT–Music Video ‘Give Her Your Love’ directed by Celeste Lois from Argentina, Best LGBT–Pride Celebration Film ‘Heaven in Hell’ directed by Len Rosen from the United States, best LGBT Director ‘Send Pic?’ directed by James Cooper from Canada, Best LGBT Female Filmmaker ‘Shall We Talk?’ directed by Katya Mikheeva from Russian Federation, Best LGBT Screenwriter ‘Keep Off the Grass’ written by Francis Rudd from the UK, best LGBT Cinematography Film ‘Enigma’ by Cinematographer Rayner Cook from the United States, best LGBT Editor ‘Breathe’ edited by Stefan Hickert from the Netherlands and Special Jury Mentioned award ‘Romario’ directed by James Cooper from Canada.

The LGBT Film Festival received submissions for short films, documentaries, animation films, music videos, and web series with LGBTQ themes.

Gary Punjabi, director of the LGBT Film Festival said, “The USP of the LGBT Film Festival is that it was organised during Pride Month (June),”addi ng, “There was an audience interaction on the topic “Women and Bollywood,” where we discussed female Bollywood filmmakers, and hosted a panel discussion on the topic “Pride is Every Day,” with panellists Jaswant Kaur, Kirandeep Sahay, and Ravindra Mukherjee.”

Color’s of Love international LGBT Film Festival was founded by the Script Factory Production Private Limited in 2020. An LGBTQ community enterprise, Colors of Love was founded to curate and present queer short films to new audiences in a fun and informative manner.

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SPENDING TIME WITH NAMBI WAS A GREAT INSIGHT, SAYS MADHAVAN

Actor R. Madhavan is all set for his directorial debut. Will ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ kick off a new era for Indian cinema? Find out in this exclusive conversation.

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With less than 50 days to go for 75 years of India’s Independence, patriotism is evidently in the air. This Friday, audiences will get to witness it across cinema halls in India, with the release of the much-awaited “spy” thriller –Rocketry, The Nambi Effect. Narayanan was a part of the golden engine team that was instrumental in kicking off India’s ambitious satellite programmes. Narayanan’s fight for justice to clear his name off the falsely accused espionage charges forms the central theme of this movie. The Daily Guardian Review spoke to actor R. Madhavan for an exclusive conversation before his big release. Excerpts:

R. Madhavan (left), and Nambi Narayanan.The poster of the film.

Q: Are you nervous, excited or a bit of both?

A: Right now, I have reached a stage beyond exhaustion and so I’m kind of numb. I’m happy that the film is releasing. I’m very keen to see the outcome of this film. I think I have moved past the stage of excitement and nervousness.

Q: What was your experience of working with Nambi like?

A: I think it was an eye-opener. First of all, it was embarrassing that one didn’t know enough about him and his story. It was even more shocking that what you knew about him was not even scratching the surface. When I knew the truth about who Nambi Sir is and what he has done for this country that nobody was aware of, it made me feel ashamed. It was that emotion which drove me to make up my mind about doing this film. 

Q: Did you build a ‘more than movie’ relationship with him?

A: Oh yes! I’m in awe of him. Absolute awe. On top of that, he is kind, he is generous, and with age, he has been more active than most of us put together- mentally and physically. Had it not been for Covid that he, unfortunately, got in the last week, he would have been there with me now for all the promotions, which is something that I miss about the whole film, the promotion.

Q: How difficult was it to get into the skin of the character? 

A: See, the thing is, I spent a lot of time trying to get into his mind and trying to understand what makes his mind tick. What makes him such a crazy patriot? You know the kind of guy who looks beyond the obvious and makes the impossible possible, right? Spending time with him was a great insight. I realised that people like him are patriots because they do their job with absolute sincerity, without any expectation of fame or money or anything of that sort. That’s an attitude, which is in-built and cannot be cultivated.

Q: How important is a movie like this for Gen Z to get inspired and feel patriotic?

A: The whole idea was to increase the intellectual capital of India, which is so required at this juncture. Telling a story of technocrats like Nambi Sir and glorifying the technological achievements in fields like science or medicine or IT is very essential. The idea is to see the film and understand that there are some geniuses, who have studied in the esteemed universities abroad and came back to work for the country. 

Q: Is that why you recently also described Nambi as the ‘Father of James Bond’? 

A: Yes, I think so. It’s uncanny the things he has done. I wish I had 12 hours to tell his story. With the sheer amount of strength, tenacity, and bravery to go with technical finesse, he is a genius in making the rocket engine. All that makes him the ‘Father of James Bond.’ Imagine, James Bond with everything he did and also an inventor and a scientist.

Q: From Madhavan, the actor to Madhavan, the Creator, how significant is that change?

A: Well, you know, academically it’s a huge change and I have little idea how much I have succeeded in it till the first of July and how the outcome of the film will be in terms of the public. For me, it was sort of a mission, almost insanity. No rationale for me to have done this film with the kind of budget we did it in, but we did it and finally, I have to tell you that I’m nervous about that outcome as anybody else. 

Q: What is your reaction to the film getting a 10-minute-long standing ovation at Cannes 2022?

A: (Laughs) Well, I have to figure out if that ovation was for Nambi Sir alone or if some of it was for me as a director as well. I suspect it was because Nambi Sir was there. 

Q: ‘Life Before Nambi’ and ‘Life After Nambi’, for you, what is the road ahead?

A: That already happened. My life before I met Nambi Sir is very different. Madhavan before meeting Nambi Sir is very different from Madhavan after having met Nambi Sir. I think I am permanently changed. And I suspect, for the better.

Q: Your directorial debut is a biopic. Will we see a pattern for your subsequent ventures too?

A: I hope so. Maybe I won’t be directing them but definitely looking at more ventures that are meaningful, about technocrats and their achievements and the possibilities that this country offers in every aspect of technology. We only end up making biopics on soldiers and sportspersons but I think it’s about time we made it about our technocrats as well. On that note, ‘Rocketry’ is all set to take off. 

Vaishnavi H.S. is an entertainment industry analyst who has worked in leadership roles in many leading television and radio channels.

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